Tags: navy | destroyer | gallagher | vietnam | war hero

Navy Destroyer to Be Named After Vietnam War Hero

Image: Navy Destroyer to Be Named After Vietnam War Hero
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By    |   Monday, 12 March 2018 02:29 PM

An Irish immigrant whose heroism as a Marine in the Vietnam War earned him the Navy Cross will be honored by having a U.S. destroyer named after him.

"Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, Corporal Patrick Gallagher's ship has come in," Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, announced on Monday. "Corporal Gallagher's breathtaking bravery and selflessness deserved to be memorialized."

Gallagher was an immigrant from the Irish town of Ballyhaunis in County Mayo who moved to the New York suburb of Long Island in 1962 and enlisted in the Marines four years later.

During the first year in Vietnam, Gallagher saved his fellow Marines who were ambushed in a dead-of-night grenade attack. He kicked one grenade out of harm's way and dove on top of another in a bid to absorb the explosion. Gallagher was awarded the Navy Cross by General William Westmoreland.

But in 1967, Gallagher was tragically killed in action by the Viet Cong near Da Nang on one of his last scheduled days in Vietnam. He was 22.

Though Gallagher was not yet an American citizen when he died, Schumer argued that the fact Gallagher made the ultimate sacrifice for his adopted nation made this honor even more compelling.

"The green and red of Mayo, which was never far from his heart, was replaced by the red, white and blue of Old Glory when Patrick Gallagher became a U.S. Marine for his adopted nation," Schumer said.

"It is a great day for America and Ireland and all Irish Americans, who have contributed so mightily to the greatness of this nation. And I can think of no better way to celebrate this St. Patrick's Day than to say 'slainte' to the new USS Gallagher."

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An Irish immigrant whose heroism as a Marine in the Vietnam War earned him the Navy Cross will be honored by having a U.S. destroyer named after him.
navy, destroyer, gallagher, vietnam, war hero
289
2018-29-12
Monday, 12 March 2018 02:29 PM
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